Distracted Driving in Bellingham – A moment of inattention results in devastating accidents and injuries

Distracted driving accidents are on the rise in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County, due to the increase of the following types of distractions:

  • Texting;
  • Using a cell phone or a smart phone;
  • Eating and drinking;
  • Talking to passengers;
  • Using a navigation system;
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player.

All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.It takes just a split second for a distracted driver to cause serious injuries and even death.

Personal Injury Attorney Bill Coats has helped many clients who were victims of distracted drivers

Bill has seen that these drivers can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers, and their driving behavior can be just as erratic. And when an accident happens, the outcome can be just as devastating.

If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed in a collision with a distracted driver, you need experienced legal help. To learn about your options and rights, contact Bellingham lawyer Bill Coats today by calling (360) 392-2833 or by completing this confidential contact form.

Recent statistics show how common distracted driving is in the U.S.

The government’s website, Distraction.gov, offers insight into how common distracted driving is:

  • An estimated 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver;
  • At any given time, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while driving;
  • 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.


Bellingham lawyer Bill Coats has focuses on personal injury claims against distracted drivers for 20 years

Bill has worked with many clients who were seriously injured in accidents with distracted drivers. He understands that along with the injuries, medical treatments, and bills a victim must deal with, there is as sense of anger and frustration that a driver engaged in dangerous behavior that caused the collision.

Contact Bill to learn more about your potential claim, and what your rights are as you recover from a collision with a distracted driver. You can reach Bill by calling (360) 392-2833 or by completing this confidential contact form.

If you have been in a different type of collision and want specific information about it, please click on the corresponding link below:

Bike accident

Pedestrian accident

Wrongful Death

Car Accident

Drunk Driving

Semi Tractor Trailer and Truck Accidents

Motorcycle Accident

Personal Injury


Graphic Content: Distracted Driving PSAs

As a personal injury lawyer, I help a lot of our friends and neighbors in Bellingham and Whatcom County after they've been hurt in a car accident. Since four out of five drivers admit to using their phone while driving, and checking a text is akin to driving with your eyes closed for the length of an entire football field at highway speed, many of these crashes are due to distracted driving.

read more

The 100 deadliest days for teen drivers are here

With school out of session for the summer, many Bellingham teens are enjoying long days without homework and classes to interrupt the fun. But unfortunately, this is the deadliest time for them to be out on the roads. Dubbed the "100 deadliest days" beginning Memorial Day, it is 16% more dangerous for drivers between ages 16 and 19 than any other time of the year.

read more

Numbers don't lie: US drivers think they drive safer than they actually do

Distracted driving is an epidemic. More and more data show this sad fact. And yet drivers report feeling more confident with their driving ability than ever. The combination of that attitude with the range of distractions available to drivers is behind the increase in crashes and fatalities. 

read more

What can you do about Distracted Driving?

It feels like an insurmountable problem. I can't tell you how many times I'm at a light and look over to see someone on their phone, or eating, or turned around to care take the kids in the back. Not to mention the driver I saw on I-5 just outside Bellingham reading her Kindle while driving. Actually reading. All of these are distracted driving behaviors. They are illegal, but what's worse is that they're entirely preventable. If it's so important, pull over. If it can wait, then IT CAN WAIT

read more

Distracted Driving emphasis patrols operating now

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. To celebrate, Washington State Patrol is conducting "emphasis patrols" targeting this behavior on Washington roads. If you're traveling on highways that cross Bellingham, and that is pretty much all of us, then you've likely already passed an officer on the lookout for offenders. 

What is distracted driving? There are a few ways to answer it. 

Here's the definition, from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):

read more

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month - Sign the Pledge!

People do enough things that cause accidents without adding cell phone distractions to the list of negligent behaviors. In fact, according to an article citing multiple studies about car accident causes, it’s safe to say 90% of car accidents were caused by human error before smart phones even existed. The fact is that almost 70% of Americans own a smart phone nowadays, and Bellingham drivers are no less immune to the trend.

read more

Aggressive Driving in Bellingham a Risk to All

Society is moving at a faster pace. The increased value of time is causing some drivers to be much more aggressive on the road, especially during the morning and evening commute. Some crazy, reckless drivers only see the traffic ahead of them as an obstacle to overcome at any cost. When we couple this with society's becoming accustomed to instantaneous communications, the problem only gets worse. This dangerous attitude can place those who share the roadway in jeopardy of serious injury.

read more

How to handle tailgating in Whatcom County

It’s amazing how simple it is to get a driver’s license. Passing a written exam plus a white-knuckled few turns around the neighborhood near the DMV is about all it takes to get a license. And yet the average American commuter spends 38 hours per year on the road. It seems to me that we should have better training on how to drive if we’ll be doing so much of it. Unfortunately, all too often the first time drivers have to practice accident-avoidance skills is the time they’re in one. Knowledge and practice can put the odds in their favor.

read more